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tv   [untitled]    June 6, 2011 9:00pm-9:30pm PDT

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i am sponsoring a resolution urging the planning commission to incorporate the western soma community plan and the objectives of the community stabilization policy accepted by the task force in 2009. this is why my office is involved. the central market revitalization and attraction of businesses sparked a conversation on how to do development without displacement. the reason there was an initiative around the tax exclusion to attract new businesses to the area has created a spirited discussion. the south of market and western soma area has evolved to become a vibrant mixed-use and mixed- income community. this pattern of development, which developed organically, is the type urban planners are attempting to replicate in developments across the city. a summary of the main points of
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this policy. the community stabilization policy looks at historical development patterns over the last 20 years and articulates a policy to make sure this balance is maintained as the area undergoes development. this will stabilize the area against speculative land-use proposals and commercial development. the rate of a portable development in this neighborhood is close to 30%. -- of affordable development in this neighborhood is close to 30%. this proposal is more conservative and asks for 50%. development will be delayed to future calendar years. it has lots of language setting appropriate jobs and housing mix. this policy of support from the tax -- task force, which has
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been meeting for seven years -- we are currently in the eir process. this plan will be coming to the board next year. this is a symbolic resolution in advance to show the board picked support for the stabilization policy -- to show the board's support for the stabilization policy. if the chair allows, i would love the chair of the task force to speak of the process from his perspective, so you can hear more about the membership that has been involved. this has been a long discussion over a long time, with input from the community. this is a policy i support. that is why we brought this policy forward. chairperson mar: can i just explained, to those of us who do not know the boundaries of the area -- it looks like mission street to brian between 13 -- to bryan between 13th and 7th
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street. it is like these two-lot areas connected by -- two-block areas connected by 7th street. >> the policy does exclude large development in areas over 1 acre. -- supervisor kim: this policy does exclude large development in areas over one acre. we are only asking for a half of the below market rate development. i do not know if you would allow the chair of the task force to speak. chairperson mar: without objection. mr. meko? >> good afternoon, jim meko,
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chair of the task force. thank you for your time. this policy replaces an earlier policy of citizens' review, which originally put a housing cap in place which would have limited housing production to 100 units. that never was able to achieve a majority group -- majority vote in a diverse group of people. we took a second crack at this and sat down with spur and many other people. this is the alternative to the original housing proposal. i see my friend and tim -- my friend tim cole waiting in the wings. we said in this policy you can build all the housing you want. the blood probably rush so much to his head he did not hear the
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second half of that sentence, which is, "as long as you do not mess up the historical balance of affordable versus market rate housing and do not drive jobs out and turn this into a bedroom community." what you are looking at today is four lines that would appear in the proposal for adoption that is going to the planning commission and then will be before you. that policy reads "establish a community stabilization policy based upon the planning principles adopted by the western soma citizens planning task force in order to maintain the historical balance between affordable and market-rate housing and assure jobs are not pushed out in favor of more residential development." chairperson mar: a supervisor
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has a comment or question. supervisor cohen: if you would finish your sentence. >> that is all that appears in the plan. then i was going to go through the steps that go beyond that. i can finish that thought, perhaps. supervisor cohen: please do, yes. >> when the plan is presented to the planning commission, it will also have an accompanying implementation document with simple policies the planning department will simply say. do not allow this or that. we have made a commitment that between now and when the policy is adopted by the planning commission we will work out the details of how this policy will work. to the best of my knowledge, the
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director is looking forward to having that conversation. i do not think we are that far apart. your question? supervisor cohen: your last part was? >> i do not think we are that far apart. if the housing committee can recommend 64% affordable housing, 50% is possible. supervisor cohen: in the short time i have known you, i have found you to be a reasonable man. i was going to ask if you were a willing participant in the june 14 meeting coming up with the director. >> yes. that is june 13. the task force, i often say, works in partnership with the planning department. this represents the director on the task force, and represents
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the director through the process. we work closely with the department of public health and the transportation authority. they have representatives. supervisor kim has several on the task force as well. supervisor cohen: could you may be articulate your thoughts of this body continuing this request? >> i am sorry? supervisor cohen: do you have thoughts about this but the continuing this resolution until after you have a meeting? >> we do not have the authority to make any changes. the task force is set up as a 26-member body. we can hear his thoughts, but we cannot rewrite the stabilization policy. that would require committee meetings and a vote by the task force, which would drag this out
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for several more months. thank you. chairperson mar: it seems there is the language ms. rogers suggested. healthy balance, i think was the term. i would like to know the political implications of that, from what the 26-member task force came up with versus what was proposed by ms. rogers and the planning staff. that would be helpful for me to understand the difference between healthy balance and the existing language. >> with all due respect, they do not mean anything. chairperson mar: did you say weasel words? >> i don't mean anything. -- they don't mean anything. the director did not want to be tied to the background language. that is an evolving document outlining how we think this
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could be accomplished. the point of this resolution is that currently the balance of market rate to affordable housing -- people are producing 38% affordable housing, historically, over a 20-year period. historically, our housing balance is 7.85, i believe. if the plan is adopted, it projects a 6.6% rate of jobs to housing. if the plan is not adopted, it would drop to about 5%, or a five-to-one ratio. we are asking that if affordability drops below 30% that would trigger the process. if the housing rate drops below
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6%, that would -- if the jobs- to-housing rate drops below 6%, that would trigger a conditional use. i cannot change this in one meeting. we are going to be having an interesting conversation over the next year. this is the first neighborhood plan coming before you. i know you have had some big one-of developments, but this is an entire community. the western soma task force is your creation, a creation of the board of supervisors. a few years back, when the planning department was trying to resound almost a fourth of the city in -- rezone almost a fourth of the city in a process called eastern neighborhoods,
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south of market pushed back. we were not a post-industrial abandoned area. instead, we were a vibrant mixed use neighborhood. we werere- zoned as recently as 1990 -- we were re-zoned as recently as 1990. that was the first real mixed- use zoning the city had seen. it worked very well in many ways. in other ways, live-work and business services, it was a failure. the eastern neighborhood process was top down and tried to impose a one-size-fits-all set of zoning rules on practically a fourth of the city. western soma pushed back. planning agreed and removed as from the eastern neighborhoods process.
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we worked closely with the board of supervisors and created a much more democratic process, which was intended to write a new community plan. that is where we are now. we completed our work in three years. it has taken another three years to get this eir off the ground. in the meantime, we have taken on the role of an implementation body, something we anticipated but did not know we would be doing for this long. it has been about seven years since this was first drawn up. planning has not served south of market well over the past 20 years. a lack of infrastructure. inadequate attention to the sighting -- siting of incompatible uses. this placement. in 1990, south of market had a total of 9757 housing units.
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over the last seven years, that has grown past 17,000 housing units. that accounts for more than 27% of all the growth city-wide. the addition of 3000 to 4000 more units, as anticipated, would seem to be more than doing our fair share. we will support increased residential capacity in the community plan in exchange for a guarantee that the historical balance between of portable and market-rate housing and the jobs-housing mix is preserved. the board has to be sensitive to the impact of the decision it makes. some recent ones will potentially spill over to the tenderloin and western south of market, the revitalization of market street, the central subway process, and economic
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incentives to bring in new businesses. they all have consequences. every planning effort to date seemed to put off the hard decisions about affordability and jobs. inevitably, they leave it to south of market to provide a solution. you might say why are you concentrating on this little sliver of land. because of the end of the road. market octavia did nothing. eastern neighborhoods tried and failed. in the end, the solution comes to what can solve the -- what can south of market do. we are the jobs solution in the eastern neighborhoods eir. they essentially said western soma will take care of it. this provides a balance of growth and residences. we might be better off leaving
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the existing zoning in place. it is not bad. but our support for this plan is predicated on acceptance of our planning principles, a stabilization policy that implements those principles. i ask that you forward this resolution to the full board of supervisors with a recommendation. i would be glad to answer any questions. thank you. supervisor kim: thank you. i would love to have public comment first. but i really want to point out again -- when you look at the historical rates, even in the years when we sought a housing boom that has been unprecedented in the city -- in 2001, where we probably saw the lowest rates of affordability being built in western soma, we were still able to build 39.4% affordable.
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since that boom, we have been building an average of 40% of portability in that neighborhood. i want to point out the historical pattern in the neighborhood. i think this is a conservative measure in terms of what we can build in the area. i want to accentuate that this has been to a long community planning process prior to becoming a resolution to the board of supervisors. we still have many more months to hammer out the mechanisms of this policy before this comes to the planning commission and the full board next year. chairperson mar: thank you. why don't we open this up for public comment. supervisor kim: sure. i have three cards. tom berdoulovich, scott cueyper, and angelica kubande.
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>> i am the executive director of livable city. perhaps more importantly, i was a member of the soma task force, code-share of the transportation working group. -- co-chair of the transportation working group. i am in support of this resolution. it is rare to see a groups say they are willing to seek unlimited density. western soma is increasing height limits along major streets from 50 feet to 65 feet. it is lifting density controls. this is a very pro-housing plan and a pro-transit plan. you also do not hear -- it is interesting that this was on the same agenda as booker t. washington. you do not hear a lot of
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neighborhood say they want to help fill affordable housing needs for the city. two-thirds of the housing we want to produce as a city in the next decade needs to be affordable. they want some of it. that is rare. this really is an extraordinary neighborhood. i am always happy to see neighborhoods asking for more density. the other thing that have asked for is that they stay a diverse community. there can be unlimited development in this neighborhood as long as you are not erasing jobs. that is reasonable. they want to maintain the historic rate -- below historic rates of housing production in the area. we would encourage your support
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for the fact that it is good policy, but also in general. you can lock the whole neighborhood down and create no change, which is what most neighborhoods do. the other option in the neighborhood is "we are not going to allow you to control any aspects of the process." i think the balance being struck here is a reasonable one. i urge support. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is angelica. i am here to ask for your support for this resolution to pass. from the payroll tax ordinance, i recall a presentation about the displacement issue and that
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western soma will take care of that. as you know, that plan has not passed yet. this resolution will provide that leverage to ensure the community will not be displaced and there will be balanced growth in our neighborhood. sorry. i was running and i am out of breath. we feel this resolution and the plan itself is well thought out, well balanced, and has community input and different interests. therefore we really ask for your support and to continue supporting our neighborhood and not replace our existing community, and really balance out our community. we have a lot of new development
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in that area and want to make sure our community are able to live, work, and drive our neighborhood without displacement. thank you. >> good afternoon. it was my distinct pleasure to attend the task force meetings. i fully and freely want to say there is much in the plan that is commendable. it makes great sense for the neighborhood. however, we are comfortable with the stabilization plan. it promises abundant unintended consequences to the city. to say we are going to restrict housing in an area adjacent to many of the job centers of the city, the task force was not
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successful in getting a 100-unit annual cap. this was the closest they could get to it. it does not involve universal support. it sounds great. this language sounds really good. but the main point i would say is that it would set a terrible precedent for the city. language like this would be a dream come true for forest hills, street francis would come up pacific -- st. francis, and other communities that want to restrict housing. "we want to be able to restrict housing in our neighborhoods. we want that too."
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they are looking for ways to do that. we think this deserves a lot more time. it deserves a conversation with the director. there is language that could be set up that would make a lot more sense. we think it is a bad idea. thank you. >> my name is scott quicker -- kueyper. i want to hone in on jim's advocacy. we have been a target for many large-scale housing developments. i hope this can help maintain the community.
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we are still set to develop a lot of the city's housing stock. we need to have a policy like this. we need for san francisco to consider this in other neighborhoods. more so, what would be a useful part of the information -- i would like to propose the board create a report that all projects that are currently in the pipeline for the west soma area. this would provide a necessary tool for evaluating what the neighborhood is already becoming. these projects are entitled but have not had the funding to be built. we would like to see the shape of the neighborhood that will be transformed as a result of those. we would like to see the final stages of what is happening to the neighborhood, especially if we are considering ratios or balances. it is my belief there is a mandate to maintain a mixed-use
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neighborhood here. western soma and large parts of the area are the heart of the arts and entertainment community in san francisco. i will approach you with other agenda items related to this as we finalize your plan -- finalize our plan. thank you for your time. >> in general, i do support jim meko and the task force and its objectives. i saw language today from the planning department and other language i could support. but i cannot support this the way it is currently written. in this town, you have immigrants and people without degrees. there needs to be a place for them in san francisco. they rely upon the business of
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the construction industry and the trades. as they work themselves -- their ways up, they become small builders. imagine if you buy one of these sites and all of a sudden an imbalance was triggered. the rules change in the middle of the game. you submitted the plan for a code-conforming project. all of a sudden, they will not process your permit. who is going to make the payments for you? what banks will land on the site in which you are not guaranteed an entitlement process where there is a chance the process could stall? i have questions regarding the exemption for one-acre sites. why are the smaller builders going to be stuck? why are smaller buildings being punished by forces beyond their control? housing is complex. affordable housing depends upon federal and state funding. how is a small building going to
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have any say on what happens on the federal or state level? we are on the verge of a much bigger issue. there are ways of achieving many of these goals and objectives, stopping projects -- the objectives. stopping projects and stopping the process is unprecedented. other towns may think san francisco is wacky. but nobody in san francisco has ever stop progress. the community goal is to come up with objectives and policies they would like to see implemented. but it is our goal as the development community to implement that plan and put those into a reality. this would undermine our ability to execute the western soma plan when it is ultimately adopted. thank you. a continuance would be great. i got a call about this this morning. i worked hard just to get a copy
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of what it actually says. this should be part of the agenda as well. this is where the details are. thank you. chairperson mar: are there any other cards? any other speaker cards? if there is nobody else that would like to speak, let's close public comment. ms. rogers has made a request that this item be continued. can i ask supervisor kim to respond? >> it would not change -- supervisor kim: it would not change our position. the planning department has been in discussions with us. they know our position. i do not see how another meeting would make a difference. we have been in discussions for over a month. on the day of to ask for a continuance was atl